Common Grantee Concerns and Questions
We understand that many agricultural programs focus on crops and not necessarily on the people who produce or consume them. We also know that not all organizations have experience with—or the mandate to implement—gender-responsive approaches.
We work closely with our grantees to ensure that their programs serve both female and male farmers, and we encourage them to reach out to their program officer to solicit more information as they design and implement their grant.
Here are some frequently asked questions from grantees:
What if my project doesn’t reach farmers directly?
We acknowledge that a gender-responsive approach will be more important for some projects than for others. However, even research and development efforts will one day affect farmers. We ask that all grantees design a logical path to the ultimate user of a service or a technology. In most cases, both women and men will be affected by your intervention, and we ask that you anticipate what those effects might be.
Won’t it be expensive to reach and involve women?
It might be. Because women often lack education, are occupied with child rearing, and have little role in public life, it can cost more to reach them and actively involve them. We recommend that you work with your program officer to determine the additional costs of designing and implementing a gender-aware or gender-transformative program.
Changing culture and society is not our role.
We acknowledge that all development projects will affect individuals, households, and communities—we hope for the better. When we ask grantees to address women’s needs, we are simply asking that they apply smart design principles that support women—not undermine social norms or effect changes that are unsustainable or unwanted by the community itself.
How do I know where to begin?
Begin by having a conversation with social scientists and other staff within your organization who have worked with smallholder farmers or have dealt with gender-based issues. Ask how your idea might affect both women and men and how you might actively reach out to women. If no such resources exist internally, ask your program officer for assistance and resources. The following chart offers some initial guidance for designing a gender-aware or gender-transformative program.